NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The superintendent of Newport News Public Schools announced Wednesday that she will retire after 10 years of service.
Ashby C. Kilgore, Ed. D, is the longest serving superintendent of Newport News Public Schools since it was consolidated with Warwick County Schools in 1958.
Under Dr. Kilgore’s leadership, Newport News Public Schools’ on-time graduate rate reached a record high in 2017: : 93.4%, up from 72.9% in 2008. During the same time period, the dropout rate decreased from 12% to 2.3% in 2017. Both the graduation rate and the dropout rate best the state averages.
A year after being appointed superintendent, Kilgore established a national award-winning dropout prevention and recovery program that provides an array of services to help students graduate on time including online courses, summer learning opportunities, community-based education, graduation coaches and an evening high school program.
“Dr. Kilgore’s vision has moved this school division forward. She has launched numerous initiatives and programs to advance our students, said Gary Hunter, chairman of the school board. “More students are graduating in four years and earning industry and professional certifications than ever before.”
Dr. Kilgore also established a national award-winning dropout prevention and recovery program, as well as a Career Pathways initiative to connect students to career exploration and development.
She also expanded Career and Technical education options to ensure career-ready graduates, and she designed and launched an Early College program in partnership with Thomas Nelson Community College.
Dr. Kilgore was named Virginia’s Region II Superintendent of the Year in 2011 and was named a 2012 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Fellow in recognition of her career achievements.
She is also the recipient of a 2016 Urban League of Hampton Roads Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Leader Award in Education, a 2015 Humanitarian Award presented by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, the 2014 Thomas Nelson Community College Medallion, the 2014 Distinguished Educational Leader Award presented by the C. Waldo Scott Center for H.O.P.E., and a 2011 Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award presented by the State Coalition for Justice for Civil Rights for contributions to education.
Her retirement will be effective in mid-February, but her last day with the school system will be December 20, 2017.